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Chair: Ted Yarbrough
Thomas the Tank Engine Day Comes to the Chatsworth Depot;
Wright Hotel Open, Too
Both properties will be open for guided tours from 1:00pm until 4:00pm, Saturday, August 13
The Chatsworth Depot and the Wright Hotel, properties of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society, announce the final Second Saturday opening for 2022. Both properties will be open for guided tours from 1:00pm until 4:00pm, Saturday, August 13. This last summer opening will celebrate Thomas the Tank Engine at the Depot and feature several special displays at the Hotel. Admission to tours, trains, and displays is free, but donations are appreciated.
The Chatsworth Depot is the oldest building in town, built in 1905 by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. The passenger waiting room contains a talc museum showcasing the talc industry in Murray County. The station agent’s office and the freight room contain historic railroad artifacts and exhibits related to the depot. The 1960 caboose, located behind the Depot, will be open for visitors to see. Historical society members will be present to give tours and answer questions.
Thomas and his friends, in both HO and the larger G Scale, will be special guests for August, running on model train tracks both indoors and outdoors at the Depot. The popular ‘Big Blue Train’ will make its second appearance this year giving train rides to those in attendance. There will be a special area inside the depot with wooden Brio Trains for the smallest train fans to get ‘hands on’ playtime with Thomas and friends. Youngsters from 1 to 100 love operating model trains, especially Thomas and his friends from the island of Sodor.
For the first time ever, there will be kid powered train rides at the Chatsworth Depot! Kids crank these cars with their hands (somewhat like riding a bicycle, but with your hands) to power themselves around the track. The train car runs on 7/8-gauge track and carries the youngsters at their own paces. Each person rides and powers his/her own car.
The Historic Wright Hotel (1909), a one-of-a-kind structure in north Georgia which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will feature a new miniature lamp display. This collection of small kerosene lamps was donated to the Society by Kathryn Sellers of Dalton and is being shown for the first time. Also, visitors will have one more opportunity to see the Nannie Arthur painting collection as well as the Keith Store/Tennga exhibit which have been highlights this year. The revamped nurse’s station will again be open as well as the guest, museum, dining and living rooms, along with the office/gift shop which are part of every tour of this amazing building, located at the corner of Market Street and Second Avenue in downtown Chatsworth.
The Historical Society would like to thank the 2022 business partners that make the programs presented this year possible. Many have been supporting the Depot and its Second Saturday openings for several years. The 2022 partners are Peeples Funeral Home, Bradley Ace Hardware, Bojangles, Captain D’s & Krystal restaurants, Dr. John Robson, Chatsworth First Community Bank, and the Murray County Elected Officials. Be sure to tell them you appreciate their supporting the historic properties of Chatsworth anytime you visit or contact one of these.
Check out the Depot, Hotel, and Caboose on Facebook.
In 1904 the Louisville and Nashville railroad system ran from Cincinnati, Ohio to Etowah, Tennessee. In order to complete a direct line to Atlanta, the L&N railroad system began laying tracks from Etowah south. In 1905, tracks were laid through Murray County. The Chatsworth Depot, now located adjacent to the Wright Hotel, was built along the tracks during this period. It contained a waiting room, an agent's office, an express baggage room, and a freight room. The L&N Railroad employed many Murray County residents, and trains would stop daily to transport residents traveling to and from Cartersville and other points. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once spent a night in his private car at the depot on his way to Warm Springs, where he went for polio therapy. The depot is the oldest public building in Chatsworth.
The restored depot currently houses two museums: one chronicles the growth of the local talc industry; the other documents more than a century of railroad service in Murray County.
The Talc Museum contains a collection of historical information and artifacts relating to the talc industry in Murray County, including maps, documents, photographs, news articles, tools and special equipment.
The Railroad Museum concentrates on passenger and freight service through Murray County. Original items from several Murray County depots are on display along with an extensive display of tools, equipment, documents, and photographs related railroad history. A G-Scale model railroad and a HO-Scale model railroad are both operable and located in the depot.
A 1960 Seaboard Coast Line caboose is also on display on the grounds of the Depot Museum.
Caboose after restoration
Friends of the Chatsworth Depot
The depot has had the exterior recently restored thanks to a grant obtained by the City of Chatsworth. Past grants from Lowe’s and donations from area businesses and residents have allowed for the exterior of the caboose to be restored and pending financial resources, work on the interior restoration is in progress. Some of the caboose restoration has been done by the local high school construction club, giving the students some real-life experiences while helping to develop their appreciation of history.
Today, the Depot is again a busy place. The second Saturday of April each year the depot hosts a ‘Model Train Expo’ with model trains operating inside and outside the building while displaying the work of area model railroad groups. May through August will find visitors coming to music concerts on the second Saturday of each month. The third weekend of October the depot opens for the local Black Bear Festival with special displays. Tours are always available when the depot is open for these events. A highlight each year is the Polar Express where model trains run in winter scenes and the story is read by a local retired educator as the children enjoy refreshments. More info and updates can be found on the Facebook page, so be sure to look up the depot and like the page to keep up to date on all the events.
The Chatsworth Depot, originally on the L & N Railroad, has been moved a block from its original location behind the Wright Hotel.
The Caboose and Depot are located adjacent to the Wright Hotel
Photos from Past Music Events at Chatsworth Depot!